Nectanebo I

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Kheperkare Nakhtnebef, better known by his hellenized name Nectanebo I, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, founder of the last native dynasty of Egypt, the thirtieth.

Hellenization historical spread of ancient Greek culture

Hellenization or Hellenism is the historical spread of ancient Greek culture, religion, and, to a lesser extent, language over foreign peoples conquered by Greeks or brought into their sphere of influence, particularly during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC. The result of Hellenization was that elements of Greek origin combined in various forms and degrees with local elements, and these Greek influences spread from the Mediterranean basin as far east as modern-day Pakistan. In modern times, Hellenization has been associated with the adoption of modern Greek culture and the ethnic and cultural homogenization of Greece.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.



Accession and family

Nectanebo was an army general from Sebennytos, son of an important military officer named Djedhor and of a lady whose name is only partially recorded, [...]mu. [4] A stele found at Hermopolis [5] provides some evidence that he came to power by overthrowing, and possibly putting to death, the last pharaoh of the 29th Dynasty Nepherites II. [6] It has been suggested that Nectanebo was assisted in the coup by the Athenian general Chabrias. Nectanebo carried out the coronation ceremony in c. 379/8 BCE in both Sais and Memphis, [7] and shifted the capital from Mendes to Sebennytos. [8]

Sebennytos Ancient city

Sebennytos or Sebennytus, was an ancient city of Lower Egypt, located on the Damietta (Sebennytic) branch of the Nile in the Delta. Sebennytos was the capital of Lower Egypt's twelfth nome. Sebennytos was also the seat of the Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt.

Hermopolis Village in Minya Governorate, Egypt

Hermopolis was a major city in antiquity, located near the boundary between Lower and Upper Egypt.

Twenty-ninth Dynasty of Egypt

The Twenty-ninth Dynasty of Egypt is usually classified as the fourth Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Late Period. It was founded after the overthrow of Amyrtaeus, the only Pharaoh of the 28th Dynasty, by Nefaarud I in 398 BC, and disestablished upon the overthrow of Nefaarud II in 380 BC.

The relationships between Nectanebo and the pharaohs of the previous dynasty are not entirely clear. He showed little regard for both Nepherites II and his father Achoris, calling the former inept and the latter an usurper. [9] [10] He seemed to have had a higher regard for Nepherites I, who was formerly believed to be Nectanebo's father or grandfather, although it is now believed that this view was due to a misinterpretation of the Demotic Chronicle . [6] However, it has been suggested that both Achoris and Nectanebo may have been Nepherites I's relatives in some way. [10]

Nepherites I Egyptian pharaoh

Nefaarud I or Nayfaurud I, better known with his hellenised name Nepherites I, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the founder of the 29th Dynasty in 399 BC.

The Demotic Chronicle is an ancient Egyptian prophetic text. The work is intended to provide a chronicle of the 28th, 29th and 30th dynasties – thus the independence interval between the two Persian dominations. Rather than providing historical events occurred during the reigns of the pharaohs of the aforementioned period, the Demotic Chronicle judges these rulers on the basis of their behaviour, explaining the length and prosperity of their reigns as an expression of divine will. The Chronicle also emphasizes the misrule of the "Medes" and of the Ptolemies, and prophesies the coming of a native hero who will ascend to the throne and restore an era of order and justice upon Egypt.

Nectanebo had two known sons: Teos, who was his appointed successor, and Tjahapimu. [6]

Teos of Egypt Egyptian Pharaoh

Djedhor, better known as Teos or Tachos, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 30th Dynasty.

Tjahapimu Egyptian prince, general and regent

Tjahapimu or Tjahepimu, was an ancient Egyptian prince, general and regent during the 30th Dynasty.

Activities in Egypt

Vestibule of the Temple of Isis at Philae Nectanebo temple Philae.JPG
Vestibule of the Temple of Isis at Philae

Nectanebo was a great builder and restorer, to an extent not seen in Egypt for centuries. [9] He ordered work on many of the temples across the country. [11]

Egyptian temple Structures for official worship of the gods and commemoration of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt

Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods and in commemoration of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt and regions under Egyptian control. Temples were seen as houses for the gods or kings to whom they were dedicated. Within them, the Egyptians performed a variety of rituals, the central functions of Egyptian religion: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, and warding off the forces of chaos. These rituals were seen as necessary for the gods to continue to uphold maat, the divine order of the universe. Housing and caring for the gods were the obligations of pharaohs, who therefore dedicated prodigious resources to temple construction and maintenance. Out of necessity, pharaohs delegated most of their ritual duties to a host of priests, but most of the populace was excluded from direct participation in ceremonies and forbidden to enter a temple's most sacred areas. Nevertheless, a temple was an important religious site for all classes of Egyptians, who went there to pray, give offerings, and seek oracular guidance from the god dwelling within.

On the sacred island of Philae near Aswan, he began the temple of Isis, which would become one of the most important religious sites in ancient Egypt, by erecting its vestibule. [11] [12] Nectanebo also began the First Pylon in the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak, and it is believed that the earliest known mammisi , which was found at Dendera, was built by him. [12] [13] The cult of sacred animals, which became prominent between the two Persian occupation periods (the 27th and 31st dynasties respectively), was supported by Nectanebo as evidenced by archaeological findings at Hermopolis, Hermopolis Parva, Saft el-Hinna and Mendes. Further works ordered by the pharaoh have been found in religious buildings at Memphis, Tanis and El Kab. [13] [14]

Philae Island in Nile, Egypt

Philae is an island in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam, downstream of the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser, Egypt. Philae was originally located near the expansive First Cataract of the Nile in Upper Egypt and was the site of an Egyptian temple complex. These rapids and the surrounding area have been variously flooded since the initial construction of the Aswan Low Dam in 1902. The temple complex was dismantled and moved to nearby Agilkia Island as part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project, protecting this and other complexes before the 1970 completion of the Aswan High Dam. The hieroglyphic reliefs of the temple complex are being studied and published by the Philae Temple Text Project of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

Aswan City in Egypt

Aswan is a city in the south of Egypt, and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate.

Isis goddess in ancient Egyptian religion

Isis or Aset, Iset in Ancient Egyptian was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Old Kingdom as one of the main characters of the Osiris myth, in which she resurrects her slain husband, the divine king Osiris, and produces and protects his heir, Horus. She was believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, and she was considered the divine mother of the pharaoh, who was likened to Horus. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people. Originally, she played a limited role in royal rituals and temple rites, although she was more prominent in funerary practices and magical texts. She was usually portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a throne-like hieroglyph on her head. During the New Kingdom, as she took on traits that originally belonged to Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times, Isis came to be portrayed wearing Hathor's headdress: a sun disk between the horns of a cow.

First Pylon, Karnak Karnak 1. Pylon 05.JPG
First Pylon, Karnak

Nectanebo was also generous towards the priesthood. A decree dated to his first year and discovered on a stele at Naucratis, required that 10 percent of taxes collected both from imports and from local production in this city were to be used for the temple of Neith at Sais. [15] A twin of this stele was recently discovered in the now-submerged city of Heracleion. [16] The aforementioned stele from Hermopolis, placed before a pylon of Ramesses II, lists the donations made by Nectanebo to the local deities, and other benefits were also granted to the priesthood of Horus at Edfu. [15] Nectanebo's prodigality showed his devotion to the gods and at the same time financially supported the largest holders of wealth of the country and for expenditure on the defence of the country. [9]

Invasion by Persia

In 374/3 BCE Nectanebo had to face a Persian attempt to retake Egypt, which was still considered by the Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II nothing more than a rebel satrapy. After a six-year preparation and applying pressure on Athens to recall the Greek general Chabrias, [17] Artaxerxes dispatched a great army led by the Athenian general Iphicrates and the Persian Pharnabazus. It has been recorded that the army was composed of over 200,000 troops including Persian soldiers and Greek mercenaries and around 500 ships. Fortifications on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile ordered by Nectanebo forced the enemy fleet to seek another way to sail up the Nile. Eventually the fleet managed to find its way up the less-defended Mendesian branch. [17]

Athenian General Chabrias (left) with Spartan king Agesilaus (center), in the service of Egyptian king Nectanebo I, Egypt 361 BCE. Agesilas in Egypt 361 BCE.jpg
Athenian General Chabrias (left) with Spartan king Agesilaus (center), in the service of Egyptian king Nectanebo I, Egypt 361 BCE.

At this point, the mutual distrust that had arisen between Iphicrates and Pharnabazus prevented the enemy from reaching Memphis. Then the annual Nile flood and the Egyptian defenders' resolve to defend their territory turned what had initially appeared as certain defeat for Nectanebo I and his troops into a complete victory. [18]

From 368 BCE many western satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire started to rebel against Artaxerxes II, so Nectanebo provided financial support to the rebelling satraps and re-established ties with both Sparta and Athens. [13]


Nectanebo died during his 19th year as ruler. His tomb, sarcophagus and mummy have never been found. Towards the end of his reign (in Year 16 – 364/3 BCE), probably to remedy the dynastic problems that plagued his predecessors, Nectanebo restored the long-lost practice of the co-regency, associating his son Teos to the throne. However, shortly after Teos' accession, his brother Tjahapimu betrayed him and managed to put his own son Nakhthorheb (Nectanebo II) onto the Egyptian throne. [6]

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Artaxerxes II of Persia King of Persia from 404 to 358 BC

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Pharnabazus II Persian Satrap

Pharnabazus II was a Persian soldier and statesman, and Satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. He was the son of Pharnaces II of Phrygia and grandson of Pharnabazus I, and great-grandson of Artabazus I. He and his male ancestors, forming the Pharnacid dynasty, had governed the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia from its headquarters at Dascylium since 478 BC. He married Apama, daughter of Artaxerxes II of Persia, and their son Artabazus was likewise a satrap of Phrygia. His grand-daughter Barsine married Alexander the Great.

Nectanebo II Egyptian pharaoh

Nectanebo II, ruled in 360—342 BC was the third and last pharaoh of the Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt as well as the last native ruler of ancient Egypt.

Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt

The Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt is usually classified as the fifth Dynasty of the Late Period of ancient Egypt. It was founded after the overthrow of Nepherites II in 380 BC by Nectanebo I, and was disestablished upon the invasion of Egypt by the Achaemenid emperor Artaxerxes III in 343 BC. This is the final native dynasty of ancient Egypt; after the deposition of Nectanebo II, Egypt fell under foreign domination.

Late Period of ancient Egypt time period of Ancient Egypt

The Late Period of ancient Egypt refers to the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after the Third Intermediate Period in the 26th Saite Dynasty founded by Psamtik I, but includes the time of Achaemenid Persian rule over Egypt after the conquest by Cambyses II in 525 BC as well. The Late Period existed from 664 BC until 332 BC, following a period of foreign rule by the Nubian 25th dynasty and beginning with a short period of Neo-Assyrian suzerainty, with Psamtik I initially ruling as their vassal. The period ended with the conquests of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great and establishment of the Ptolemaic dynasty by his general Ptolemy I Soter, one of the Hellenistic diadochi from Macedon in northern Greece. With the Macedonian Greek conquest in the latter half of the 4th century BC, the age of Hellenistic Egypt began.

Amyrtaeus Egyptian Pharaoh

Amyrtaeus of Sais is the only Pharaoh of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt and is thought to be related to the royal family of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. He ended the first Persian occupation of Egypt and reigned from 404 BC to 399 BC. Amyrtaeus' successful insurrection inaugurated Egypt's last significant phase of independence under native sovereigns, which lasted for about 60 years until the Battle of Pelusium in 343 BC.

Nepherites II or Nefaarud II was the last pharaoh of the feeble and short-lived Twenty-ninth Dynasty, the penultimate native dynasty of Egypt.

Hakor Egyptian Pharaoh

Hakor or Hagar, also known by the hellenized forms Achoris or Hakoris, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 29th Dynasty. His reign marks the apex of this feeble and short-lived dynasty, having ruled for 13 years – more than half of its entire duration.

Decree of Nectanebo I

The Decree of Nectanebo I was issued by Pharaoh Nectanebo I of the 30th dynasty of Ancient Egypt. It regards payments to the local temple, and was recorded on two steles.

Merdjefare Egyptian pharaoh

Merdjefare was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th Dynasty, Merdjefare would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well.

Peftjauawybast Egyptian ruler

Peftjauawybast or Peftjaubast was an ancient Egyptian ruler ("king") of Herakleopolis Magna during the 25th Dynasty.

Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt

The Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Second Egyptian Satrapy, was effectively a short-lived province (satrapy) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between 343 BC to 332 BC. It was founded by Artaxerxes III, the King of Persia, after his reconquest of Egypt and subsequent crowning as Pharaoh of Egypt, and was disestablished upon the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great.

Egyptian gold stater

The gold stater was the first coin ever minted in ancient Egypt, around 360 BCE during the reign of pharaoh Teos of the 30th Dynasty.

Sematawytefnakht Egyptian official, high priest of Sekhmet, treasurer

Sematawytefnakht or Somtutefnakht and other variants, was an ancient Egyptian high official, known for having witnessed the conquest of Persian Egypt by the hands of Alexander the Great.


  1. Lloyd (1994), p. 358
  2. Depuydt (2006), p. 279
  3. von Beckerath (1999), pp. 226–227
  4. Dodson & Hilton (2004) , p. 256
  5. Erman & Wilcken (1900)
  6. 1 2 3 4 Lloyd (1994) , pp. 340–341
  7. Grimal (1992) , p. 372
  8. Wilkinson (2010) , p. 458
  9. 1 2 3 Wilkinson (2010) , pp. 456–457
  10. 1 2 Grimal (1992) , p. 373
  11. 1 2 Clayton (1994) , p. 203
  12. 1 2 Lloyd (1994) , p. 353
  13. 1 2 3 Grimal (1992) , p. 377
  14. Lloyd (1994) , p. 354
  15. 1 2 Lloyd (1994) , p. 343
  16. Yoyotte (2006)
  17. 1 2 Grimal (1992) , pp. 375–376
  18. Lloyd (1994) , p. 348


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Further reading

Preceded by
Nepherites II
Pharaoh of Egypt Succeeded by